Hôtel du Nord
Although Hôtel du Nord is no longer a hotel, the sign on the façade is listed, because Eugène Dabit’s novel of the same name, turned into a legendary film by Marcel Carné in the 1930s, is set here. A few years back, the premises were taken over by young nightlife entrepreneurs, and became a relaxed restaurant serving a fusion of French, Spanish and Asian food. The entrance level boasts white tiled walls, black and white floors, a zinc bar, bare tables and bentwood chairs. The raised restaurant area at the back is cosier, with tablecloths, flowers and shelves of books; there are sexy/cool 20th-century photographs dotted around the walls throughout. The food is simple and light and less outré than ‘fusion’ suggests, with the formule midi very good value at 13.50 Euro for two courses. By night, summer weather brings young professionals out to socialise at a handful of tables overlooking the canal. The owners’ latest trick, over on the swanky Right Bank, is Le ChaCha.